Not so good at the math

The editorial board at the New York Times is concerned about “The Threat to Public Safety if ‘Concealed Carry’ Goes National.”

Their problem, of course, is that we CCW permit holders are just too dangerous.

There were eight million Americans with concealed-carry permits in 2012, according to federal data. That number has been growing rapidly with the gun lobby’s success in loosening state restrictions, making it possible for permit holders to pack guns in university classes and many public venues.

By 2015, the number has jumped to over 12.8 million active CCW permits.

But since 2007, concealed-carry permit holders have been responsible for at least 898 deaths not involving self-defense, according to the Violence Policy Center, a gun safety group.

Actually… the VPC is an anti-gun organization.  They operate an anti-CCW website called  Concealed Carry Killers, so they might just be a little bit biased.  BUT, for the sake of argument, lets accept their data as 100% accurate.

VPC data lists 898 deaths in 9 years.  The Crime Prevention Research Center shows that in 2007 there were 4.6 million people with CCW permits and by July, 2016 there are 14.5 million people with CCW permits.

Let’s say that the increase in permits has been linear, so the average number of permits from 2007 to 2016 is 9.55 million.  That gives us for 2007 – 2016, 1 non-justified shooting for every 10,635 CCW permit holders, or 0.0094% of CCW permit holders committed a non-justified shooting.

The CDC data on homicides is inconsistent by year.  Everytown lists an average of 11,184 homicides per year 2010 – 2014.  We know from the CDC in 2007 the number was higher than that, at 18,361 and in 2008 that went down to 16,799. We can only get national data as early as 2014, but lets assume that the Everytown average works for 2007 – 2016 (it will actually be higher, but I’m putting the numbers in VPC’s favor) than we get in 9 year a total of roughly 100,656 total homicides.

Combining that with the CCW data, that tells us that 2007 – 2016, only 0.89% of homicides were committed by CCW holders.

Lets compare with logic, shall we.

To date, there have been 661 fatal shootings in Chicago, a city with a population of 2.7 million.  That means that for just 2016 alone there was one fatal shooting for ever 4,085 Chicagoans or 0.024% of Chicagoans shot and killed somebody.  Statistically, you are more than twice as likely to be shot and killed by a random resident of the City of Chicago than by a CCW permit holder.

For Baltimore, it is 1 murder for every 2,816 residents of the Charm City.

If the NY Times is trying to scare me with the horrors of national CCW leading to murderous rampages by CCW permit holders, the numbers just don’t do that.  Seems to me that it’s safer to be in the company of CCW permit holders than around a random sampling of residents of any of the big Blue cities in America.


3 Replies to “Not so good at the math”

  1. Another source of data regarding permit holders and the danger to the public are states like Minnesota and Texas. When Minnesota passed their shall issue permit system they also threw in a requirement to publish an annual report on the permit system.
    Along with demographics, they also report crimes committed by permit holders. Minnesota currently has about twelve years of data showing that permit holders are more law abiding than the general public.


  2. A recent guest speaker at our church opened up by asking how many people in the congregation had a CHL (Concealed Handgun License). between 1/4 and 1/3 raised their hands. He followed that with, “Great! I feel safe now.”

    And got a good chuckle from the crowd.

    No, the “Concealed Carry Killers” numbers don’t pan out. They never have and never will. The VPC is desperately trying to malign a gun-carrying demographic that statistically is an order of magnitude less likely to commit crimes with their guns than police officers, who the VPC insists are the “Only Ones” who should be allowed to carry guns.

    On that note, CCW licensees are also statistically less prone to alcohol and substance abuse, depression, and suicide than police officers. Yet the VPC still insists that all LEOs are perfectly safe, while all CCW licensees are mass-killings just waiting to happen.

    Sorry, but that “logic” just doesn’t make sense.

    (OK, you got me: I’m not really sorry about that at all. 😉 )



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